Can a single household finance a presidential run?
The enormous wealth of billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, and their willingness, thus far, to pour millions into the super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, would indicate yes.
Miriam Adelson has reportedly committed $5 million to the Winning Our Future PAC. Her donation follows a like amount from her casino mogul husband.
Forbes estimates the Adelsons’ wealth at $21.5 billion, so a mere $10 million diverted to Gingrich is less than .05% of their worth. How much more they’re willing to donate likely depends on Gingrich’s performance in Florida.
Why do the Adelsons care so much about Newt? Surely, this is a question that will draw further exploration in coming days.
Many of Sheldon Adelson’s concerns lie beyond U.S. borders. Most of his casino profits come from Asia. Many of his political views are centered on Israel, where he owns the country’s largest daily newspaper. Miriam Adelson was born in Israel.
As the Huffington Post noted earlier this month, Adelson was one of the few people who spoke up in Gingrich’s defense when the presidential candidate called Palestinians an “invented people.”
The Washington Post reports that Adelson and Gingrich have similar views not only on Israel, but on labor and free enterprise.
Adelson is a big contributor to Jewish and Zionist causes. He is a backer of One Jerusalem, an organization committed to Israeli control of Jerusalem, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He sits on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
A 2008 New Yorker profile noted that Adelson started out as a Democrat, but started preferring Republican economic policies as his personal wealth grew.